performance, voice, community studies
Songs and singing have great power to connect us within and across many kinds of boundaries. Students in this program will both analyze and experience the power of song as an instrument for social struggle, change, restoration, and community building. How can vocal music bring joy in times of hardship, empowerment in the face of oppression, or even knowledge to counteract ignorance? To engage these questions, we will study the biology of singing and how it affects the brain. We will analyze the social and historical context of specific songs that have been important in challenging times of social change, from Irish struggles for independence and the South African revolution, to the 1960s peace movement, and beyond. We will also learn and participate in shape-note singing, a 200-year-old social tradition that is both deeply rooted in American geography and transcends those roots to connect singers around the world. This truly interdisciplinary program will leave students with a first-hand experience of the power of song, and with new ways of thinking critically about people, place, and culture.
Students can expect to sing for at least two hours a week and attend the Pacific Northwest Sacred Harp Singing Convention in Portland, Oregon, in mid-October. Students will develop writing skills through research projects on specific songs of their choice, presenting their research to the class and performing those songs with the help of their peers. Credit may be awarded in cultural studies, music, and human geography.
This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:
education, music, and social science.
Credits per quarter
- Hybrid Online Learning - This offering delivers < 25% of its instruction online, rather than via face-to-face contact between you and your instructors.
Class Standing: Freshman–Senior
Class Size: 50
25% Reserved for Freshmen